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Thursday, April 7, 2016

How can a Silly Old Truck Bring Back Memories?

Do you ever see something that brings back a flood of memories that you didn’t know were important until you saw that one thing?
Have you ever been attached to a “stupid piece of equipment” as the Nebraska Wheatie likes to say?
My parents told me they had sold some items on Big Iron last week, but I really didn’t know what they had sold.  As I left the vet clinic with a trailer of cows, I saw something that sucked the air right out of me.  I was on the phone with The Hat (my farmer husband) and said I had to go right now!  I quickly snapped this picture.

That old red truck may not look like much to you, but as I fed cows by myself that day a flood of memories tied to that silly old grain truck filled my head.  It was the truck that taught me how to drive.  I mean I knew how to drive, but I really learned how to drive in that truck.

When it was new, my brother and I wanted to go camping soooooo bad, but dad wasn’t too much into camping, so he let us camp in it.  We slept on the soybean seed bags that were stacked in it waiting to be planted.  If I remember correctly, it started to rain that night and he had to roll the tarp over to keep us and the soybean seed dry.

Then there was the time that dad left my brother and I sitting in it while he talked to a landlord.  He actually set the parking break and we had a great time “driving” while waiting for him.  He wasn’t too happy when he got in and it wouldn’t start.  It was flooded.  We were in trouble.  We didn’t “practice” driving again…ever.

I remember playing Hangman with Dad waiting in line to dump soybeans.  When I was a kid, we had a local ADM plant that processed soybeans.  Farmers would wait hours in line waiting to get their trucks dumped.  I spend some afternoons and evening sitting with dad.  One time, we were playing Hangman to pass the time and I kept asking him if he was sure he knew how the word was spelled.  It was.  He was looking right over my shoulder at some kind of inspection list.

No one in our family will ever forget the broken arm that happened as one of our best friends slipped on the running board and broke both bones in his forearm completely.  His brother and I ran to flag dad down and stop the combine.  They told us all to climb in the back of the truck and hold on.  We did hang on and we didn’t look out either…we had to drive by the local highway patrolman’s house and into town to get Bob to the hospital.

My brother and I will never forget the time we almost died in that truck.  The brakes had a tendency to pull a little to the right, well really hard to the right.  As we were coming down the only hill we had to drive on with a loaded truck, the fuel filter case came off.  I lost all power and the truck was rolling pretty good.  I hit the brakes hard and we veered right.  My brother sensed what I was gioing to do and grabbed the steering wheel shortly after I hit the brakes.  When we came to a stop, there was fuel spewing under the truck.  I ran to my aunt’s house.  Luckily, Mr. Hammer, a neighbor, stopped to see what was wrong.  By the time I got back, they had taken baling wire and pinched the line off.  They walked back up the hill and found the case, put it back on and off we went again.  Dad was mad it took us so long to get back.  This was long before cell phones.  Mr. Hammer always told my parents what a good driver I was to have not wrecked in that situation.

The second wheat harvest was a bumper crop and there were lines every day at the elevator.  This could have been a horribly long harvest for a 15 year old girl, but there was a bright spot.  Two older best friends were also hauling for their dads and amazingly, I was almost always a few trucks behind one and a few trucks in front of the other.  It was a struggle, but I managed to talk to Brad and Matt almost every day of that harvest. ;)

I always had a great truck driver’s tan as in my left arm was 5 shades darker than my right.  My friend Kim rode with me a day or two and when we got to the field, we switched places to tan the other arm.  No, the truck did not have air conditioning.

There was the time that I was so mad that I had to haul milo during our town’s Fall Festival.  Dad just kept telling me that I always wanted to go cruising.  He was letting me cruise all day while my friends were in town… That was dad’s sense of humor.

I even remember the time two of my classmates, David and Jay, had to rescue me on main street when the truck died.  They gave me a ride back to the field because again…no cell phones.

I know I am not the only one that has memories from a silly old truck.  Nebraska Wheatie and I talked the other day about it.  I remembered her post about the truck that she still gets teary eyed over.  You will have to scroll down toward the end, but she still trying to figure out how to get the smell from that truck bottled up.

I know there are others with memories as trucks have been very popular on my Facebook Page this week.

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